The Braves have had a sort of carousel in their starting rotation this season with pitchers going down to injury, another being traded, and the sudden resurrection of Ben Sheets. They are about to get ace Tommy Hanson back and his return will give them a sort of overflow at the position. According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, the team plans to roll with a six-man rotation moving forward.
Tomorrow will likely be Hanson's only rehab start.Sounds unlikely Braves will go to a 6-man rotation when he returns Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) August 11, 2012
The Braves have been winning games lately but still trail the Nationals by 4.5 games in the N.L. East because Washington has been even hotter. It seems they will try and sort out their rotation over the next few weeks to determine their best five guys for the September pennant race.
Hanson himself has had an underwhelming 2012 campaign with a 4.29 ERA, the worst of his career. Last season he posted a 3.60 clip in 130.0 innings, but this year marks the fourth consecutive season his ERA has been raised.
Despite his struggles this year, Hanson should have a spot reserved for him as the Braves will likely be looking at how young pitchers Mike Minor and Kris Medlen, as well as veteran Jair Jurjjens, pitch in determining who becomes the odd-man out.
The Nationals will be making changes with their starters in a few weeks with the shutdown of Stephen Strasburg, lefty John Lannan will likely take his place. It will be interesting to see how the two rotations shake out as they go head-to-head in the standings down the stretch.